The Premier League has began the rollout of its Defibrillator Fund. The Premier League announced last month it will fund the provision of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) at thousands of grassroots football clubs and facilities, aimed at helping save the life of someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. It began this week with an installation at Southfields Academy.

Working in partnership with the Football Foundation and The Football Association, the first phase of the Premier League Defibrillator Fund rollout will have AEDs provided to Football Foundation funded facilities which currently are without a life-saving device onsite. In the second phase, grassroots clubs that own their facilities will be able to apply for funding for a defibrillator. Southfields Academy was one of the sites to benefit from the first phase of applications.

Together more than 2,000 sites will benefit from this investment. The first 1,000 units will be delivered in time for the start of the 2021/22 season and the second batch expected in September. Once installed, the AEDs will be accessible, if required, to an estimated 1.5million people who use these facilities per season.

"We are committed to a quick rollout of the defibrillators we have funded and it was great to see the first one installed this week," said Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters. "Supporting the welfare of participants at grassroots facilities is a priority, so having these devices at sites up and down the country, and providing training opportunities for using them, could make the difference in saving somebody’s life."

Southfields Academy is a school site which has previously benefited from Football Foundation funding from the Premier League, The FA and Government. The school received a grant of £449,116 grant towards a full-size 3G pitch and changing pavilion block, which was completed in December 2011.

"This facility is used year-round by our pupils and the local community, so it is great that we have been able to apply for a defibrillator from the Premier League and that this has been installed so quickly," said Southfields Academy Principal Jacqueline Valin. "It is a fantastic asset that will be of reassuring benefit to all who use these pitches."

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